iCamp is a research and development project funded by the European Commission under the IST (Information Society Technology) programme of FP6. The project aims at creating an infrastructure for collaboration and networking across systems, countries, and disciplines in Higher Education. Pedagogically it is based on constructivist learning theories that puts more emphasis on self-organised learning, social networking, and the changing roles of educators.
We pursue the idea of gathering people (learners, facilitators, peers, etc.) into one common virtual learning environment. This virtual environment does not consist of a single software system, but is composed of various interoperable tools and platforms. Each element of this patchwork of open-source solutions and the entire space are compliant with an innovative pedagogical model built upon a social-constructivist approach. This pedagogical model encompasses social networking, scaffolding for self-directed learning, incentives, and cross-cultural collaboration aspects. iCamp validates its pedagogical model against its interoperable system & tools portfolio — the iCamp building blocks. The efforts will result in guidelines on pedagogical and technical issues as well as in an open-source software package of constructivist learning tools.
In the future the users shall have seamless access through their own learning platforms or tools to services and artefacts offered by remote systems. The higher education network created by iCamp will comprise pan-European higher education organisations, such as institutions, departments, units, institutes, etc., enabling their students and staff members to collaborate on a group or individual level.